Might be an unpopular opinion, but I actually like that Dr Robotnik has sleek, functional and compact robots at first along with a more stable and sensible state of mind, showing that he really is a serious scientifically minded practically thinking inventor, before slowly slipping into more wacky and impractical design choices as his sanity slips and his narcissism and eccentricity grows.
The efficient, nondescript looking drones and machines shows his practicality putting more focus into functionality than style. He doesn't care how his machines look, only that they do their jobs right. They're just tools for him to use and the only thing that matters is how well they work. His drones are kinda like the Swatbots from SATAM, the designs don't scream Eggman like Egg Pawns do, but they're useful all-purpose grunts regardless. The "Eggmobile" jet is also pretty cool in that regard, minimalist and generic looking, yet fast and maneuverable enough to chase Sonic across the Great Wall and packing enough firepower to blow up trucks.
Then he'd slowly become more unhinged and start putting a lot of personal touches into things, becoming less practical and more stylistic. Putting a logo here and there and making some cool looking but impractical designs (like the animal themed Badniks with their vibrant colors and unnecessary parts) would slowly descend into pasting his face onto everything he can with Egg Pawns and Egg Flappers and the Death Egg Robot and the likes. The minimalist jet thing transitioning into the True Eggmobile with an arsenal of impractical overkill weapons like wrecking balls and giant hammers would be great.
In other news, we finally have the MPAA rating for the movie. What we all expected, PG. (Personally, I was hoping for a PG-13 like TMNT and Transformers)
I've been around this franchise since the beginning. 1995-1998 were the worst years for Sonic, period.
Both Sonic cartoons had been cancelled and Ken Penders was running amok with the Archie comic.
The 3D era had come and while Mario had a big hit with the N64, Sega had abandoned Sonic for the Saturn, with the exceptions of some rereleases (Sonic Jam) a clunky racer that looked terrible even by 1997 standards (Sonic R) and a port of 3D Blast.
Underground came and mostly flew under the radar since Sonic's popularity was at an all-time low.
Sonic Adventure breathed new life into the franchise in 1999 and while there were a few misteps, (Shuffle, 06, Shadow) Sonic still was going strong, thanks in part to Sonic X's popularity and the fact that Sonic was now able to reach wider audiences on the GBA, DS and GameCube.
The second 'dark age' for Sonic in my opinion, came in 2010 with Sonic Colors. and the juvenile, goofy writing by Pontac and Graff (and the annoying new characters OrBot and CuBot) Lost World continued to go in an infantile route, pandering to younger audiences. I enjoyed the Boom TV show, though.
Sonic's.. In an okay spot right now. I like the IDW comics and I'm looking forward to the movie. More merchandising shows Sonic is gaining popularity again. Haven't played Mania or Forces.
In other news, we finally have the MPAA rating for the movie. What we all expected, PG. (Personally, I was hoping for a PG-13 like TMNT and Transformers)
Okay, so I am not the biggest film buff here by a long shot (barely watch films TBH), but I still thought it would be interesting for people to reflect on their film experiences in 2019 and, as a natural extension, the entire decade. What you liked, what you disliked, and just generally how you think the decade has gone.
I'll start my own take by contextualising my experience with cinema entering 2010. I was in my last year of college, and up to that point my cinema experience had been entirely controlled by my parents. Sure, I could ask them if I could see a certain picture, but we rarely had time to do it, and as a result any films seen were mostly through television or bought by them on DVD. But when I started University at the tail end, I suddenly had all the spending power, so it became a chance to see what I wanted when I wanted. As such, this is the first decade I've felt invested in the still admittedly few films I've watched.
In terms of how the decade went, generally I was able to see films I was interested in so I got a lot out of it. It gets patchy in places as my economic circumstances influence how much I'm actually able to see, but that's why I pick and choose carefully. This kinda get murky by the end of the decade but...eh, you'll see.
Since this was the first year of my independence, I did go a bit extra compared to subsequent years. Not that it means much since I still don't see that many films, but whatever.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 1: Starting with an (half) ending obviously. It was alright. I remember going out partway through for a leak. Otherwise I remember the Dobby scene and that's basically it. Truth be told, I wasn't as interested in Harry Potter's darker turn, so while Philosopher's Stone is my fave, I enjoy 2-4 a lot, and then I start to struggle recalling the rest because it gets almost completely swallowed up in darkness.
Toy Story 3: Another ending (well, it was before Toy Story 4). This one was pretty fantastic. I still prefer Toy Story 2 to it but definitely a strong outing and solid way to round out the series.
Tangled: I don't actually bother to keep up with DIsney films nowadays surprisingly, but I did get Tangled on DVD and it was pretty enjoyable! I especially felt the music was surprisingly seamless despite definitely embracing more of the pop trappings (something I can't say for, say, Frozen). Not one of all time favourites though.
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Ignoring that this would never be a patch on the 1951 version for me, this was still dreadful. It managed to turn a story based on being strange into a cookie cutter hero's journey, and it was so boring, I nearly fell asleep watching it. I know this is only 2010, but I would call it a strong contender for my worst film of the decade.
Shrek Forever After: I can't believe this was in this decade as well. Anyway, I had fun with this one. Having Shrek of all people get into time twisty shenanigans to confront his discontent with family life is not what I would have envisioned him doing, but it executes it in an entertaining and even emotional way.
Despicable Me: Truthfully, not sat down to see this one per se, but my parents love it so it's on often enough that I've managed to piece together a whole viewing. I can take it or leave it, not won over by the dynamics in the film.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: Again not one I've sat down to see formally, but dad loves it so it's been on often enough. Definitely not my thing, but I think I'd be okay with it as popcorn fluff. Certainly doesn't seem as boring as Alice.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: I had a ton of fun with this one when it came out. Aside from the premise, it was bombastic and riveting. May have made Scott a bit too sympathetic though.
2011 in comparison was much quieter, but I feel had one of the heaviest hitters of the decade to make up for it.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 2: I actually like this one better than the first part, but otherwise it's mostly the same deal again; too mired in darkness for its own good.
Rango: Now we're talking! I had a reptile bias going in anyway, but it is honestly great enough to stand out even without that. It's an interesting take on a genre I would otherwise completely ignore, the designs complement the dreary and gritty tone perfectly, and it's just a riot to watch. One of my favourites of all time.
Puss in Boots: The one people forget about. Honestly I did too until I looked up the 2011 film release schedule. I remember it being alright, but it obviously didn't wow me if I struggled to recall it.
A Monster in Paris: It's pretty neat, especially for a film outside the scope of the mainstream. It's a pretty interesting story too, what with science gone wrong resulting in giant singing fleas and a murder plot befitting Agatha Christie.
I remember this year being one of the more active for my film-going. At the very least, it had more than one hit for me.
Wreck-It Ralph: Let's get this one out of the way first; I saw this one because it was Disney doing video games, and it had Sonic and Bowser in it. What we ended up with was a touching story about a guy trying to prove to himself he can be more than his given status in life, while forging friendships along the way. Ralph's a great lead to follow, the other characters are fun, this is one of two films with satisfying twists to the villain, and the soundtrack is a banger. Seriously, I still occasionally find myself singing Sugar Rush.
ParaNorman: Little known fact; I love stop-motion animation. It just has this air all to itself, and ParaNorman uses that well to tell its bizarre tale of a boy who can talk to ghosts and how he needs to utilise it to save his town. I think it strikes a good balance between a dark tone and a comedic edge, and I especially like how all of the towns' jerk tendencies are addressed at the core of the conflict, and how it all resolves.
The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists!: This year really spoilt with the stop-motion goodness. Pirates is hilarious and a very goofy satire of 19th century events. You can't help but fall in love with the Pirate Captain and his crew. Outside of the Wallace and Gromit franchise, this is Aardman's best work since Chicken Run.
Brave: I actually managed to catch this on television. I'm actually going to go against the grain and say that I liked this one. It's a lot more stoic than other Disney output (yeah, okay, it's Pixar but they're kinda interchangeable by this point) but I did enjoy the mother and daughter dynamic the film was going for.
Ice Age: Continental Drift: Yeah, I was dragged to this. It...wasn't unbearable. The pirate crew were amusing at times. That's about it.
Men in Black III: It was better than 2, that's for sure. Otherwise, alright but in hindsight pretty forgettable.
Rise of the Guardians: Another one I had to look up to remember that I had seen it. I remember liking the premise and the unique takes on the different holiday mythologies, but I could not tell you anything about the plot now. I guess it just didn't do much to stand out in that department.
Hotel Transylvania: More from seeing chunks like Despicable Me. Unlike that franchise, I think this film actually has something decent to offer. Pretty creative premise done in a stylish and amusing way.
This is when slowdown starts to kick in again. Bear mind that 2013 was my last year of University, so I would have been studying for my final exams, completing my dissertation and entering the job market for the first time.
Monsters University: Speaking of which, here's this one. It was cute, inconsistencies with the original aside. I especially liked that while Randall was indeed a cutie when he was younger, they didn't try to play him overly woobie and instead made it clear he set up his own fall. Otherwise, the original is definitely superior but this one is cozy.
Despicable Me 2: Like the original I've not sat down to see it but I've caught enough bits and pieces of it to form the whole thing. And from that, I can't say it'd be something I'd be interested in seeing in one sitting. Seems very cliche (which is actually a pretty rare thing for me to level at a film this decade).
The Croods: I wanted to like this more than I do (I mean it has something called a Crocopup, why would I not?), but ultimately it's a pretty meh film. I don't remember that much happening in it, so I had to look up what the plot even was.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: I...guess this counts? First Equestria Girls was pretty naff all in all. A lot of nothing where the hook was seeing Twilight Sparkle react to a new world with another species. Not a brilliant hook and it's pretty standard high school stuff.
After my initial exploratory phase, I go right back to not seeing much in cinema, if not even moreso because being taken out with the family is even more sparse.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Eh, if the last one counts, this one does too. And to be fair, this one's actually much better. A fun twist on the high school premise and now it doesn't rely on that initial hook it can actually utilise the characters in fun ways.
And that is literally it for 2014, no more to cover!
...Okay, there is, but I won't until much later.
This was still in that downtime, so another very short list here.
Shaun the Sheep Movie: A notable bright spark in this period of pretty much nothing. Shaun took a risky direction by sticking to its dialogue-free roots, but I think it pulls it off well by bringing a simple and cute plot driven by fun characters and a ton of charm.
You know how it goes here. At least I got a big title this year.
Zootopia (or Zootropolis in my country): It was decent. My favourite part of it was actually when it took on the tone of a murder mystery. The rest was fine barring the villain twist (which I wouldn't usually note but it was done so badly it stands out) and the main song (it's bad).
Kubo and the Two Strings: I am going to be in a minority for this, but this film did not impress me. I just didn't like how dry it was. I know that was probably the intention since the film was more action drama than anything else but...I dunno, it just didn't rub right with me here.
Ratchet and Clank: Okay, technically not, but there were cutscenes from it in the video game, and that was enough to tell me it was way different from the original telling of the story.
Once more with feeling. Doesn't help that this is the only year so far I've been unemployed throughout, so money was tight and seeing films was a non-priority.
My Little Pony: The Movie: Literally every year that would otherwise be empty has been carried by a MLP movie. Didn't think much of this one though, it had a lot of stuff but I don't think it took advantage of the unusual territory it was putting the Mane 6 into.
In contrast, this year was when I started my best-paid job thus far, and time and flexibility to use said pay, so I went out of my way to officially end this lull.
Incredibles 2: I found this one fun. Liked it way more when it came out compared to now, but still. I do like how it expanded on Frozone and the kids' roles, and Void as a hero is sweet. Also the Mr Incredibles jingle is an underrated little piece.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Like the Croods way back, I want to like this more than I do. I love the original, but this one didn't really do it for me. I think it's fact they diverted so far away from the video game premise, the plot feels disjointed (like, it literally feels like two plots stuck on either end of the film) and the ending just didn't resonate.
The House With A Clock In Its Walls: Dunno what drew me to this one, maybe I just wanted to do something for Halloween. And this film's alright, so it wasn't exactly a bad on-whim decision. I think the cast bounce off each other good and it's surprisingly serious in tone considering it advertised itself as a more light-hearted fantasy affair (what with Jack Black as a lead).
The Grinch: While not a patch on the original animated version, I actually like the different take it had on the story compared to the live action version. You could easily argue that the titular character has way less bite in comparison, but I do prefer the cozier presentation overall compared to the bitter and cynical tone of the other one.
And last but not least, there's this year in review. It's the whole reason I made this topic to cover the entire decade, since it's woken me up to some pretty hard-to-swallow truths about my actual film experience compared to what I thought.
Toy Story 4: I have mixed feelings on this one. As an actual film it's alright, with plenty of the stuff that made the previous Toy Story films great. I don't even bemoan it for continuing the ending of Toy Story 3. I think my main issue is that for a film that aimed to close out a chapter in the way it did, it did not utilise all its elements well. The old main cast was basically left to the sidelines, I felt the new cast weren't that used either and it's just not overly strongly justified as to why Woody ultimately went the way he did. On the bright side, I did really like Gabby despite not having the greatest payoff to her villain arc.
Frozen II: Now here's a film I plain don't like. I've made a large vent about it before so I won't repeat it all here. To sum up though, it feels like a film that rides on the success of its predecessor to get by without doing much to expand on its ideas (instead pandering to the idea of lore to give the impression of such). This is definitely one of my worst of the decade.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Honestly wasn't too impressed with this one either, it was just okay. Like, it felt like it stepped right out of the 90s with its plot and wasn't much more than that. Certainly great fanservice for Pokemon fans though.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part:
"Let's address the elephant in the room."
Okay, so the whole impetus for making a topic dedicated to a decade of film experience was this one film. To give context, I was dragged to this film unwillingly. I'd seen the original, and didn't think much of it (it was a bit too by-the-books for my liking). So naturally, I wasn't particularly excited at the prospects of seeing its sequel. And then I saw it.
Lego Movie 2 is kind of the opposite of Frozen II in how it handles its plot. As in, it tosses the idea of expanding the lore of the first film out of the window in favour of expanding on its themes, in the process allowing the plot to go completely balls to the wall mind bending. The resulting film, while not perfect, is so goddamn fun and enjoyable. So much so, I can actually go back to the first film and appreciate it more (it's still a bit too by-the-books for me to see it above decent, but I can at least see where it was simultaneously taking jabs at that too). Its characters are great (one of which has shot into my favourites list along with long standing faves like the Chaotix), the way does its twist is great, the entire soundtrack is a gem, I just...fucking love this movie.
It's also re-contextualised my view of the great big animation monoliths that are Disney and Pixar this decade. Like, I've always taken for granted that they would always exist and consistently be top dogs for my favourites, even when we got other gems from Aardman and Nickelodeon and such like. Why would they not, they've always dominated and several of their previous films have permanent places in my favourite films of all time. But while the decade started out that way, after 2013 it sort of just...dropped off. I haven't been interested in their output for most of the decade, despite how many of them have been said to be quality films (Inside Out is the most prominent of these that I can think of). And when I made an effort to see four of their sequels in the last two years (three of which from franchises I had an active affinity for), they were all just...wiped away by two inches of plastic.
Eh, maybe I'm just sick of modern Disney/Pixar in the same way I got sick of the formula for renaissance Disney. Maybe that can change in the next decade, maybe not. All I know is that the Lego Movie 2 now has its own spot carved in my favourite films of all time list, right up there with Alice in Wonderland, Lilo and Stitch, Wallace and Gromit and Nightmare Before Christmas. If you had told me that at the start of 2019, I'd have branded you a madman who didn't realise I stopped playing with LEGO when I was 11.
Just to round off the topic opener, I've got a couple more points to cover;
1. Since I left the LEGO stuff to the end, that leaves me with the two 2017 LEGO films to review. LEGO Ninjago Movie is one where I can see why a fan would dislike it, but coming in as a standalone film I was amused by it and I think it set out to do what it wanted, even if not catered to the fans. LEGO Batman Movie is kind of its opposite; I can see why a fan would like it, but it's my least favourite LEGO movie. Ironically, while Batman is my least favourite character in the main LEGO Movies, he was the best part of this one. What can I say, I'm not a fan of superheroes, I think the film list makes that pretty obvious.
2. I do want to give some nods to films I was and am still curious to see but didn't for whatever reason.
Winnie the Pooh (2011): I think it came at a bad time, looks like it had the charm of old Disney though so more up my street.
Frankenweenie (2012): It was this or ParaNorman at the time. While ParaNorman was probably the better choice, I still wouldn't mind seeing this.
The Peanuts Movie (2014): It's sacrilege that I didn't see this on release. Our family loves Peanuts, and this seems adorable.
Early Man (2018): It's Aardman so I'm always curious to see their output.
Missing Link (2019): While Boxtrolls I missed because it didn't look interesting, this was just unfortunate circumstances. It looks neat.
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019): I'm kicking myself for missing this one, but it was in the cinema for, like, two weeks around here.
The Playmobil Movie (2019): Yes, I've heard all the negative buzz and the accusations of it being a LEGO Movie ripoff, but it honestly looks like a Pagemaster thing more than anything, and if people were willing to see 90s schlock in the form of Detective Pikachu, I'm curious as to whether this is the same brand of 90s schlock in turn.
And...that's it from me. Nobody else has to be this in depth with their look backs, it's supposed to be more a summation of the year/decade.
No. Sonic's speed been successfully burning off the virus's progress so far ever since he and Tails came up with the idea, which became necessary to analyze and come up with a cure before they lost Tails's lab and the HQ.
But Gemerl is saying the virus is probably adapting, or Sonic's body is losing health, to the point where said burn-off is becoming less effective against it. No doubt Eggman already had this in mind to ensure its literally unstoppable.
That last clip...
All those characters in the trees.
I don’t get why the hate. If anything I’m thrilled to know what they’re like. I’ve already succumbed to not expecting 1:1 adaptations to movies, so I really want to know just who is after Sonic for his powers.
So. This movie might turn out enjoyable, but I’m more hyped at the idea of the sequel, when Robotnik looks more like Eggman, and hopefully both him and Sonic go back to Sonic’s homeworld.
Well whatever happens, I hope the movie does somewhat OK financially. I don't want the BO run to send the message that "listening to fans and admitting/fixing mistakes only leads to failure". Especially considering the polarizing, fan-backlashing Star Wars sequel trilogy movies still made (and will make with the third one) tons of cash. I want real effort from underdogs to really pay off instead of having people throwing all the money at big-name cashgrabs. The GA just can't seem to get out of their little box of Superheroes and Disney Drivel with the occasional John Wick here and there. Hidden gems like Detective Pikachu just can't catch the eyes of all but loyal fans who are quite limited in number.
I think the 'Lizard Warrior' guy is going to be a very minor, nameless character from Sonic's planet who is chasing him down in the first few minutes of the film, to help establish the fact that everyone on his planet wants his powers. He might be quickly killed off (test screener said the opening is somewhat dark)
I wonder if we will see Sonic's MOM in this movie. Maybe she dies protecting Baby Sonic from this Lizard Warrior, and opens a ring portal as she lies on the ground dying, saying something like 'go somewhere better than this world, somewhere peaceful, with big, GREEN HILLS..'
I'm pretty certain that shot from the trailer of Sonic doing loop de loops in Green Hill Zone was from the ending of the film. (Isn't Sonic supposed to be a baby when he comes to Earth?)
Maybe Sonic's world is very desolate and dreary in the beginning of the movie?